Oh my god, the news on this thread is so exciting - I can't express it in ASCII/UNICODE. How awesome, you guys made my week! 'm a lurker who finally signed up here, just to post a reply:
So, I'm a 'prosumer' camera user who purchased my NX500 around christmas (the 'big gift from family') based on the specs & price. My idea was to shoot unattended from an unattended tripod, then crop (& potentially stabilize handheld footage) from 4K to FHD in post. Sadly, once I started using the camera I was pretty disappointed. The 15-minute/4GB limit (still an issue @ 4K if I understand correctly?), and for me especially the lack of manual video white balance control in the NX500 made my results horrible, even worse than my cheap old Panasonic TM-90 (which I know well and still love).
This 'forced auto' white balance on the NX500 is killing me! It's tolerable outdoors but absolutely horrible indoors, resulting in unusable orange-on-yellow garbage that's pretty much uncorrectable since the auto-white-balancer is constantly shifting the white balance around... (It seems like such a deal-killer, could I be missing something here?)
Having spent the evening reading this thread (I should have taken notes!), I was wondering if anyone has tried running the NX1's .BIN apps on the NX500 camera yet? 'IF' the NX1 video capture app could be made to run on the NX500 that would give us it's manual white balance control (among other things) and to me that would be HUGE.
I didn't return the NX500 because it's supposedly a quasi-open-source device and I was hoping something exactly like this would break open. (Plus the fact that raising kids I can't justify spending more... anyway...) Then when Samsung discontinued the product and left us in the lurch, just looking at it sitting on my shelf was kind of depressing. It looked like a device with great potential, intentionally hamstrung for marketing purposes that was going to be a dead-end and a big wasted investment. I was left monitoring developments by searching for 'NX500 firmware' every few weeks...
And now these developments... I am super excited and want to contribute however I can. Actually I'm a career software developer with over 30 years of experience. Haven't done much low level hacking lately but know (some) Linux / (a lot of) C++ down to binary optimization (mostly windows) / etc and could probably do some heavy lifting, time-permitting... Not much image processing background, but I think I understand at least the basics.
So, from my N00B perspective, and not wanting to brick my (now increasingly valuable!) NX500, I'd like to help (in descending order priority) 1) figure out how to get the camera to boot from the SD card, 2) get the camera to run NX1 firmware (more on this in a moment), and 3) remove the 15-minute 4K video recording time.
On the NX1 firm(ish)ware on the NX500 proposed project, the core question seems to be whether the camera is running the same FPGA or if Samsung fabbed different ASIC's for the different cameras. Information seems conflicting on this, with FCC screenshots indicating they're different chips but FFMPEG reporting the same compression engine metadata. So which is it? It seems there's a good argument for both approaches (transistors are cheap vs. FPGA implementation battery run-time might be bad) If anyone can clarify this it seems this would determine whether this NX1 firmware on NX500 project is viable... OR am I missing something here? Admit I've had a few beers tonight...
On the 15-minute 4K time limit, it seems like the idea posted earlier of pre-allocating the MP4 files on the SD card is a viable pathway, since probably closing / flushing / opening a new file while straming is problematic and why the limit exists. (Samsung - you could have just supported NTFS, duh!) Or we could somehow just hook the '15-minute-limit-reached' event and re-initiate recording, it wouldn't kill me to lose a few frames (hundreds of frames is more likely :-p). Or at least if the camera could beep a few times to let me know it's stopped recording, that would be a big improvement. Or we could implement NTFS as a supported filesystem, that would be awesome!)
One last thing, SAMSUNG - IF YOU ARE READING THIS: Look, you kinda screwed your customers by discontinuing your product line. Sure there are business realities, but I think your sales could have been 50X if you had just completely open-sourced the firmware... Seriously, this hardware has awesome specs and enthusiasts could have made this the cult camera of all time if you had just forked over the crown jewels... (Probably IP licensing issues aside) You could still do that and help compensate your shafted customers. Or at least get your devs to push one more release out, removing all these silly caps. If you're exiting the market, you're not cannibalizing higher-end or newer products!
All this being said, I want to end by thanking the guys who have contributed to unlocking the potential this camera holds. Set up a paypal, I'll contribute as well as code! I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops and to contributing as I can.
... Interesting, it looks like the price of this discontinued camera is going UP! If this pans out, folks might want to stock up on Samy cameras before they're gone... ;-)